Page 1 of 11 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 103

Thread: Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    44

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    I'd like to hear what others have found to be the best solution to doing 3-6 week photography field trips in the USA.

    Mission is to be able to camp as close to the topics of photo interest without having to back pack and deal with tents. At 59 year I'm no longer in the mood to sleep on the ground.

    Pondering the logic of a SUV pulling a pop-top camper verse a VW Camper.
    I've had two of the VW's in the past - enjoyed them but that in the late 70's and early 80s' - before the age of the SUV's and pop-top campers.

    With the volitile cost of fuel, and I expect it only to get worse in the future, the MPG needs to be very reasonable. From what I've found, the 2001-2003 VW Eurovan Full Campers get a reported 18-21MPG on regular gas- anyone know if that's true?

    Nissan Xterra, Toyota Highlander, etc. pulling a pop-top camper might work.

    On the issue of campers, I want as light as possible but still giving decent protection from the elements. Thought the Aliner S-Type looked interesting at only 900 pounds. Suggestions are welcome.

    Looking forward to learning what has worked well for others!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    4,585

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    "Best Western" is everywhere.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    176

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    The Honda Element gets good mileage and has seats that fold flat to make a bed. I noticed recently that Dodge is selling a european-style delivery commercial panel van (possibly a rebadged Mercedes truck) it looked like an excellent LF roaming car.

  4. #4
    Jack Flesher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    1,078

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    I'm with Bill.. I've owned campers, pop-up trailers and large trailers. Bottom line is it costs nearly as much now to "camp" in a park with hook-ups as it does to stay in a Best Western. Add in the loss of gas mileage with any of your solutions over a mid-sized SUV and IMO you will be ahead of the game with the SUV and Best Western.
    Jack Flesher

    www.getdpi.com

  5. #5
    Geos
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    256

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    A used diesel pickup with an "Alaskan Camper," might be the ticket. the MPG should be over 20 with this setup, and the 4WD will get you places that a van won't.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 1998
    Location
    Fairfield County, CT (near NYC)
    Posts
    124

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    A small, fuel efficient pickup with a shell over the back gives huge carrying capacity and better gas mileage than most SUVs.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    1,264

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    Jack,

    I have a Ford F-150 4x4 with a Northstar pop-up camper on the back. It is a camper, not a tent trailer. It has a full queen bed, refridgerator, two-burn stove, lights, dinette that converts to another bed, hot water heater, sink, 30 gal water tanks and heater. No bathroom, but it does have an outdoor shower. It is very comfortable.

    The advantage of the camper over the trailer is that you always have everything with you when you leave an area. If you leave a trailer, you need to go back and get it if you find somewhere better. Also, the camper allows you to camp on a much smaller footprint and more stealthily if you are say camping at a trailhead or parking lot where there is officially no camping. Not that I would ever do anything like that.

    The camper allows me to sleep where I want to shoot. Sometimes the nearest motel is an hour or two away from where I want to be. With the camper, I can shoot late light, have a nice meal, read in the evening, sleep in a comfortable bed and then roll out of bed at first light already there. The camper sets up in about 60 seconds (literally) and is warm and comfortable, so it beats the hell out of tent camping. Since I have gotten my camper, I have far more motivated to get out of town.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    41

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    I use a pop up for family camping and I'd discourage you from going that direction. The advantages of a pop up are cost/sq ft and towing weight. We have a small one and originally towed it with a Honda Accord (not in the mountains!) and did not have much money to spend so it way good for our growing family. The disadvantage is that they take a fairly long time to set up and take down....especially in the rain. That is not too big a deal if you are staying a week at a location, but would get pretty old if you were moving every couple of days. They are also not incredibly durable. We have a Coleman/Fleetwood and they were the best built we could find at the time and it still is low-grade mobile home quality.
    One other direction worth considering is a small fiberglass hard shell trailer. Scamper and Casita are the two I've seen. They are a bit heavier than a pop up, but you don't need to pop it up. For one or two people, it looks like a good alternative.
    One thing other thing to consider with the self contained (Eurovan) or a tow behind: the trailer can stay on the site while you go out in the morning or evening to photograph. Bad security-wise, good because you don't need to put everything away and also good if you are traveling with any non-photographers.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    tempe, Arizona
    Posts
    7

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    I use a slide in, pop-up camper that fits in the back of a pick-up. The camper brand I use is "4-wheel" and weighs about 1000 lbs (450 kg) fully loaded (water, propane, gear). It has all the same features a pop-up trailer has, but you don't have to tow it. It's not inexpensive, over $12,000 new, plus you need a 3/4 ton 4x4 truck to carry it, and gas mileage is not so great, but it is able to go places you can not go in a VW, and I have sometimes gotten into situations where I had to back up for over a mile along a cliff edge, not fun with a trailer. One nice thing about a slide in camper is that it slides out, and you can use the truck to carry other items, plus you can replace the truck or camper seperately. I first used a extended cab pick-up, now I use a crew cab, so I can carry more gear. My camper is 9 years old, and I am just now considering replacing it, as it is starting to show its age. If you really, really don't care how much it costs, look at a "sportsmobile" 4x4 van, $75,000-$100,000. I would like to get one of the sportsmobile vans, but just can't convince my wife to spend the $100,000.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    190

    Best Vehicle & Camper for photo field work?

    Jack, i do the pop up camper thing aslo. It is nice to be able to get close to the site and then unhook to do day trips on back logging roads. We spend all day traveling on roads where we have no idea where we are. My next LF gear expense is a GPS. Unfortunatley This style of shooting is more for multi-format, for I haven't gotten the 4x5 set up to get a picture of a moose in time yet. As far as cost of camping it depends on the camp ground. Yes you maybe able to get a $35 dollar room. But not with the view, and a fire crackling while you have a toddy stairing at the stars.

Similar Threads

  1. 8x10 field work
    By Bartolomeo in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 27-Feb-2006, 09:16
  2. Photo books/work on Southern Louisiana
    By Ed Richards in forum On Photography
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 26-Feb-2006, 11:04
  3. Buying a used monitor for photo work
    By paulr in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 19-Oct-2005, 07:49
  4. Motorhome Location Vehicle?
    By John Cook in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 21-Sep-2005, 22:39
  5. Marketing Photo Work to Art Galeries
    By violin in forum Resources
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 13-Dec-2001, 22:39

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •